Google has announced the launch of a €25 million AI Opportunity Initiative that aims to provide extensive AI-focused skills training to benefit communities across Europe. The announcement emphasizes that Google wants to play a lead role in ensuring the transformative potential of AI is harnessed responsibly and made accessible to all segments of society. The initiative contains three central pillars:
AI Skills Development for Vulnerable Groups
To start, €10 million in funding from Google.org will go toward equipping workers from economically vulnerable and underserved backgrounds with vital AI skills training. The company will disburse grants to qualified nonprofits and social enterprises that can deliver tailored instruction in foundational AI concepts to these target communities in localized languages. Grantees will also receive support to supply critical services like childcare to facilitate participation.
Support for AI Startups
The initiative will additionally kick off a new series of Google for Startups Growth Academies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The equity-free program will provide intensive mentoring and Google Cloud credits to early-stage startups deploying AI solutions in fields like health, education, and cybersecurity to help them rapidly develop and bring products to market. Google is currently accepting applications from qualified startups to take part in the Growth Academy: AI for Health.
Free Introductory AI Courses
Finally, Google pledges to continue expanding access to its catalog of free online courses explaining AI basics by translating lessons into 18 languages. It will also add applied AI components to more advanced career certificate programs intended to equip learners with professional qualifications.